Spectacular Native American Poetry Readings

By Wendy Brown-Báez, Artist-in-Residence

Join us for this rare event with Heid E. Erdrich, Marcie R. Rendon, and Louise K. Waakaa’igan. I am familiar with the power and eloquence of their work and awed at their generosity and dedication to Native creatives and to the literary community of the Twin Cities and beyond. Heid E. Erdrich is the inaugural poet laureate of Minneapolis and Marcie R. Rendon is included in Oprah’s list of 31 Indigenous authors to read.

Heid E. Erdrich is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain. Her seven books of poetry include Little Big Bully, winner of the 2022 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry. This book is described by Amy Gerstler as “a force of nature: renowned Native poet Heid E. Erdrich applies her rich inventive voice and fierce wit to the deforming effects of harassment and oppression.” She has also received many fellowships and awards and won the MN Book Award twice.

Marcie R. Rendon, an enrolled member of the White Earth Nation, is a prolific author, poet, and playwright. She is the author of an award-winning murder mystery series and another book of poetry is forthcoming this summer. In a quote from MPR news, Marcie says despite all that has happened over the years, she believes Indigenous people are more resilient than they are traumatized. She weaves her accumulated wisdom into poetry that will move your spirit. Marcie also teaches creative writing with women who are incarcerated, and she and Diego Vazquez received a 2017 Loft Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship for their work.

You will simply be stunned by the beautiful poetry of Louise K. Waakaa’igan, whose chapbook This is Where won the Willow Books Chapbook Award: A Report from the Inside. Louise is the recipient of the 2017 PEN America Prison Writing Awards Poetry Prize for her poem, “This Is Where,” and won f irst place in Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop’s Broadside Competition in 2016 for her poem “Within.” Louise has transformed herself inside and out after years of incarceration. Louise is enrolled at Odaawaa Zaaga ‘iganiing (Lac Courte Orielles Reservation) in northern Wisconsin.

I am over the moon to host this reading as Artist-in-Residence and look forward to seeing you there. The reading starts at 7pm on Friday, April 19 followed by a reception and book signing with Birchbark Books. Please register on Realm.

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